Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dunce Dunce Revolution

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  • James Green,

    Given that they require it of international applicants, though, they're loading the scales a little. They don't exactly say "we are testing your knowledge of maths and English and the intricacies of our antiquated and useless measurement system."

    Come now. If you're using numerical indices of reliability, then having a whole load of questions that are failed by a group of people indicates they're good quality questions. You'd have to be concerned about validity to consider that it might be problematic to have a group of people from a different cultural background systematically scoring lower on a group of questions.

    And why worry about that type of validity, when you could simply look at how well people's test scores predict their graduate school performance? Next you'll be suggesting that this is a poor measure of validity because people who score highly will go to more prestigious schools with better resources, and that this will somehow make them achieve better. Pssh. Free thinker.</sarcasm>

    Bwahahahahaha. It took me a moment to realise that while we're talking about the GRE, I could just as easily be mocking the new standards system.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 691 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Bwahahahahaha. It took me a moment to realise that while we're talking about the GRE, I could just as easily be mocking the new standards system.

    It's like a reverse threadjack!

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And another maths question which involves knowing how quarts relate to gallons.

    Hey, leave them alone. It's only been 34 years since the first legislated attempt to get America to use metrics. Not their fault that they're slow learners.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3925 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    It just dawned on me that when Tolley tries to get her drive to mediocrity through parliament the Nats wont have enough votes and ACT will come in and insist that they privatise the schools ...

    And Ann will reply that the whole point of making state schools so poor is to give the private ones an advantage in the market ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2188 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    It is rather the Tall Poppy Syndrome writ large - let's try not to create any excellent students

    Oh dear God. It's also, unfortunately, a particular strand of modern conservatism writ large. "We have a total knee-jerk distrust of government and its institutions. Once you put us in charge of them, we promise to fuck them up for you. Because we don't believe in them. Yay us!"

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    "If they do nothing other than teach our children to read and write and do maths and be good socialised New Zealand people then they've done a really good job."

    Jeez. I would hope I've done more than this with my children to have done a good job as a teacher. Like seeing the value of music, learning to run, jump, throw and participate in physical activity, get enjoyment and satisfaction from creating art, think, discuss, experiment. And that's just with 5 year olds.
    Increasingly I'm beginnning to think that Tolley, with a lot of her utterances over the past few weeks, is out of her depth as Education Minister, not that I ever thought she'd even entered the water but now she's drowning.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    crystallised intelligence, as opposed to fluid intelligence

    And therin lies the rub, Cattell like so many others devised an arbitrary concept around which he built a test. It could so easily have been crystallised intelligence, fluid intelligence and other intelligence. As such the definition of this construct was drawn for the most part from Cattell's knowledge of American eductaion and society and thus is Socially defined. Consequently we have a test that describes differences in society without providing any means through which to understand how or why they came about (that's the bit that involves theory). I maintain the opinion that IQ tests and such are worse than lazy they are inherently bigotted when employed for inter-personal comparison; Ironic given Cattell's latter day status.

    How strange is this business ?

    Simon & Binet first propsed intelligence testing as a diagnostic alternative to phrenology.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 730 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    On a lighter note I have been working with one of the many advisors that the present government found superfluous. What a pleasure it has been; I fully intend to try and deny the government the services of this advisor when the time comes. I would not let such a highly regarded colleague go so easily.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 730 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    It is rather the Tall Poppy Syndrome writ large - let's try not to create any excellent students

    It overlaps with what Germaine Greer controversially described about her native Australia.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen,

    I figure it's probably going to take me at least another day of my time to find a private insurer

    Can't you stay with ACC then?

    It is rather the Tall Poppy Syndrome writ large - let's try not to create any excellent students

    This measure may be a response to the unacceptably high numbers who are not learning much literacy, numeracy or *anything*. There are plenty of excellent students but also far too many failing ones.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2008 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    We should never let ill-educated politicians anywhere near education.

    Pardon my missing something....is John Key sick??

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1502 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It is worth noting that our standards system will be different to the British one in some significant respects -- no SATs -- but will, inevitably lead to league tables the way the UK one did.

    My understanding is that the people tasked with doing this at the Ministry of Education are very aware of what has gone wrong in Britain.

    Which isn't quite the same thing as it being a well thought-through policy in the first place ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    This measure may be a response to the unacceptably high numbers who are not learning much literacy, numeracy or *anything*. There are plenty of excellent students but also far too many failing ones.

    Yeah, but it's also not a dichotomy; you don't have to choose between improving literacy and numeracy and everything else, because literacy and numeracy are be *parts* of everything else (and, I submit, far more likely to attract kids' interest when they are.)

    To assert that we should be happy to settle for the most basic skills and socialisation as a result of eight years of schooling is bollocks. There may indeed be some kids for whom just that is an achievement; that doesn't mean it's one we should settle for, let alone consider to be "really good work" or a goal for a national education system.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Maybe science is being dropped because we have already (well.....nearly...if you read on a bit...) achieved Number 1.
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/AboutUs/mediaCentreLanding/mediaReleaseIndex/MR004Apr29.aspx

    We can't improve any more lets move on.......Been there done that....lets try counting now.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1502 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    We should never let ill-educated politicians anywhere near education.

    Pardon my missing something....is John Key sick??

    Quite possibly, but that has nothing to do with him being ill-educated. Hail the mighty hyphen, wonder grammatical tool that suffers awfully from misunderstanding and disuse.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3925 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Germaine Greer is onto something there, Deep Red. No matter how embarrassing any of the NZ media's most popular stories, they still beat by a country mile the constant dross that makes Oz's Top Reads.

    Just look at the most popular reads at the bottom of this page:

    World Cup Oval plan unveiled
    "I am ashamed"
    Rain finally on the way
    Hulk Hogan's affair exposed
    Prince Frederik's mystery woman
    Scientology too quick for Aussie coroner

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The question I remember went something like "Congress is to gubernatorial as senate is to ...?"

    I think the answer to that question would be "gubernatorial", but it really makes no sense.

    The All Blacks are to Kevin Rudd, as the All Blacks Front Row is to ...?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3011 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Graeme, you're being logical. Wrong approach for Friday afternoon. Someone is bound to come up with teh answer.

    Try this one which pops up in quiz evenings now and then: what is the next number in this sequence: 20, 1, 18, 4, 13, ?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    @Phil Bahahaha. I give up. Too close to beer o'clock. Although on my 3rd answer I now reckon 0, and I think I've got a better pattern going. My ineptitude reflects a lack of practice, among other things.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 691 posts Report Reply

  • Lynda Johansson,

    I'm currently teaching part-time in a decile 8 school, taking small groups of students for learning support in literacy and numeracy. These students are identified from the data collected (running records/AsTTle/numeracy project assessment tools etc). This, all in place without direction needed from Anne Tolley et al. Meanwhile, under the new curriculum the big question currently being studied throughout the school is within the area of biology and there are seeds sprouting in classes all over, compost making going on, writing reports, instructions, reading around the topic, graphing the data for statistics, trips planned to botanic gardens etc. The place is buzzing. Meanwhile there's art happening, daily fitness, swimming about to start up again. Hard to see what the problem's supposed to be, let alone what the solution is likely to cause!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I have a long standing refusal to believe that "gubernatorial" could possibly be a real word.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Oh DOG,..... deliberate capital letters!!!!

    How on EARTH are we going to convince children that there is no Santa Claus now? No science advisers to assist teachers to tune their bullshit detectors, no folk to demonstrate the awe inspiring universe and our (lack of) meekness in it.

    I worry. Not so long ago my eldest was at Intermediate and (I swear to doG) came home with a study she had to do about astronomy...well...that was what it SAID. What star sign are you? What star sign are your family? Do you think they tend to agree with their horoscopes?

    Bejezzus I was pissed. With some stirring it got promptly dumped from the school, course and NZED.

    I don't worry, I despair.

    On one hand we have been told that Science R&D is the way of the future and business, industry and the country HAVE to follow, and now, here we have the very next generation being screwed.

    I think this might tempt me to write a letter to the minister (deliberate small capital). Tolley?? More like off her trolley.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1502 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    evidence of this demeanor seems to be accumulating. In education, it seems clear.

    Well, Tolley told Q+A she grew up with teachers in the family and put a few kids through school, so she must know how education works, eh. Just like how she's used a blowdryer, so must be suited to running the electricity network.

    Oh and also (this from a month ago) :

    PAUL One other little bit of information, of intelligence, which has come to the ear. Are teachers' advisors, who are teachers who go around teaching teachers and advising teachers, are they going to be scrapped at the end of this year if they are not advisors on numeracy and literacy?

    ANNE I'm not aware of that...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Maybe science is being dropped because we have already (well.....nearly...if you read on a bit...) achieved Number 1.

    I worry. Not so long ago my eldest was at Intermediate and (I swear to doG) came home with a study she had to do about astronomy...well...that was what it SAID. What star sign are you? What star sign are your family? Do you think they tend to agree with their horoscopes?

    Evidently, as you say, we're not quite there yet...

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It just dawned on me that when Tolley tries to get her drive to mediocrity through parliament the Nats wont have enough votes and ACT will come in and insist that they privatise the schools ...

    Vouchers, Paul, vouchers..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

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